Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Laodikeia and Kaklik Caverns

Having seen the travertines at Pamukkale yesterday, we decided to use today see more of the area surrounding Denizli. This included the ruins of Laodikeia, the Kaklik cavern (magarasi), more of Hieropolis and the Cleopatra mineral baths.
Ruins of Laodikeia
Laodikeia
Laodikeia is the one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Turkey today. That's why it is also on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Get this: Laodikeia has more buildings and bigger buildings than the Athens Acropolis, the biggest stadium in Anatolia, and is the only (ancient) city with two theatres.
Laodikeia also has a special significance and sacredness for the Christian world because of its churches. One of these, the Laodikeia Church, is dated back to the fourth century CE. Laodikeia considered as important as Ephesos (ie, Ephesians). And conveniently, it was maybe a 10 minute drive from our hotel.
We pulled up in a drizzle, but that cleared out quickly to a dramatic sky of golden sunshine and slate gray storm clouds. As you might imagine, quite a bit of the site has been excavated, and it's easy to see how one amphitheatre sat 12,000 people way back in the 1st to 5th Century. That's the same size as The Diamond, home of the Minor League Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball team.
RRR likes how it looks like the columns are holding up the clouds.
The ruins just go on and on and on



12,000 people could sit here.


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Kaklik Cavern
So after our tour of Laodikeia ruins, we got on the highway and headed to see the cavern at Kaklik. Somewhere along the way, we drove further off the tourist path to a little cave in Kaklik. When we pulled up, a large group of people in colorful clothes were getting out of a colorful truck. We couldn't place where they were from (Kurds? Georgian? Azerbaijani?), but it was definitely from a more eastern part of the world. But one thing is certain, several of them wanted to take pics with our girls.
That's their truck in the back.
The Kaklik cavern seemed like something out of the Goonies movie, and had similar calcified formations as Pamukkale. There were also bats! It kind of reminded me of the Subconscious from Pixar's "Inside Out" movie.




Those ladies I mentioned earlier

Watching the ducks.

Even the turtle is covered with mineral deposits

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We had lunch at roadside grille. It was a point-to-order kind of place with a limited menu that came from a food truck parked next to the dining area. I thought that we had ordered chicken wings, but the meat was more like chorizo. Even so, it was very good. After lunch, we drove up to the north gate of Hieropolis.

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